• Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 24 reviews )

2-3 St. Patrick Square (at Nicolson St), Edinburgh, Scotland, EH8 9EZ

Veggie restaurant since 1983 with change of ownership in 2015. Specializes in traditional South Indian vegetarian cuisine and thali. All-you-can eat buffet at lunchtime. Open Mon-Sat 12:00pm-2:00pm, Mon-Sat 5:30pm-10:30pm.

Category: Vegan-friendly, Lacto, Indian, Buffet, Beer/Wine, Catering

Reviews (24)

First Review by feorag

Tasty Thali! - Edit

Kalpna is a one of my favourite places to eat out in Edinburgh - their vegan thalis are excellent :) It's a great place for a celebratory meal or date. The decor and atmosphere are great and the staff are helpful and friendly! Highly recommended.

Pros: Brilliant vegan thalis, Lovely, helpful

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ask if needed - Edit

first time ive visited kalpna in ages, due to my view it has declined since the change in ownership.
tonight i had the vegan thaalinrag bhog, wich was 17quid, nor cheap, but huge! it contained two starters, two wee salads, half a naan, rice, four curries and a daal. a wee desert also. it was more than filling and full of tye veg and pulses i was craving. very varied in flavours, i would suggest to fork out for it as a treat as i think it was worth it.
my partner in crin]me had a sweet & sour tattie dish to start and then paneer butter masala which i am told were delicous and vegetarian.
the one thing to note is they did say they were willing to make something for any dietry requirements, so feel free to ask for something specific if you want.
still not as good as the old days, but good.

Updated from previous review on 2016-11-24

Pros: good food, decor

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Good vegan thaali - Edit

I was initialy uncertain of trying here as some of the reviews were quite negative, but I have a perfectly lovely meal and service. THe waiters were all friendly and attentive. As a single female eater I didn't feel out of place in any way. I ordered the vegan thaali and it was lovely, good range of dishes. Glad I came here after all!

Pros: Vegan food

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Lunch buffé - Edit

Cosy but basic. Nice wall decorations and friendly staff. The food was basic but well done, all vegetarian and many vegan dishes. Well worth the 8£ that it costed!

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Boring and flavourless - Edit

I was disappointed with the food here. The veg curry was lacking in spices and flavour, the other dishes were equally dull. The curries I make at home are a thousand times better.

Pros: Quick in and out., Kingfisher beer on tap, very nice and refreshing.

Cons: Seemingly amateur chef with no no idea how Indian

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Doesn't knock my socks off - Edit

Kalpna might have been a gem a decade ago, but it's getting long in the tooth and deterioration is in evidence. It seems they missed the chance to renew not only furniture and cutlery and so on but their whole service model.
The food was still good though. Just note that you won't get rice with some dishes unless you order it separately (at extra cost).
However, I would consider Kalpna to serve authentic Indian food. I've been just a bit disappointed by an a bit distracted service.

Pros: authentic Indian food, long-serving vegetarian

Cons: ageing, service not the best

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Kalpna :( - Edit

I'm not a fan of leaving bad reviews, but this is something people should be aware of. I ate the lunch buffet here at the end of August with a group of friends. Half of us ate some rice with our meals, while the other half did not. All of us who ate the rice started feeling unwell that evening. Sadly I ate a lot of rice and became severely ill for over a week. I wouldn't recommend this place to anyone as this is the sickest I've been in about 7 years and I wouldn't want anyone else to have to feel this grim.

Pros: Mostly vegan, Food is really tasty, Cheap

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Delicious, friendly and unexpensive - Edit

Delicious food for resonable amount of money, really friendly, helpful and kind stuff members. oh, and they have an open buffet for 8 pounds per person. Great deal!!! :-)
I highly recommend this place!

Pros: Tasty food for reasonable price, almost everything vegan, friendly and attentive staff members

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Vegan? Wouldn't bother... - Edit

Yeah, there's the vegan thali on the menu, it's fine,but remarkably ordinary and not that cheap.
The staff were pleasant, and the vegetarians I was with seemed happy enough and it was an easy place to come as a large group.
I won't be back though.

Pros: Nice enough place.

Cons: Pretty unremarkable.

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Decent food, good variety, helpful staff... - Edit

We had seen the Kalpna had an all-you-can-eat buffet while we were visiting Edinburgh and so decided to fill up on our last day before we took the train out of town. When we arrived with our suitcases, we were kindly shown a place to store them out of the way. Checking out the food, I noticed there were a good number of reasonably different salads, puri, cauliflower and potato (separately) pakoras, rice and three curries (lentil dhal, chickpea masala, mushroom and spinach). All of these were vegan except one yoghurt dish and this was confirmed for me by one of the helpful staff. We were encouraged to eat as much as we wanted and there was nothing to give us a sense that we should stop eating after a polite amount. As it happened I didn't have a massive appetite on this occasion, but I still felt I got a good deal for £8. I'd come back regularly for a decent lunch.

Pros: Good variety and quality for the price, Friendly, helpful staff

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Ok for one meal - Edit

At the Kalpna Restaurant I had a buffet lunch and while I thought the food not much varied, it still tasted good. Unfortunately, service was not very friendly and the food and how the buffet worked were not explained at all, even when I asked. In the end I found out that except the desert and one sauce everything was vegan.
Altogether it was ok to have a meal here, but considering all the choices in Edinburgh, I wouldn't visit again. Although I might, because reading all the good reviews here, I wonder if maybe I just picked an unlucky day!

Pros: Almost everything vegan, Buffet lunch

Cons: Unfriendly service when I visited

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Not very impressed - Edit

I've eaten here quite a few times as I live in and around Edinburgh and I've not been impressed each time. I've eaten a thali here which was OK, but I didn't find it very filling and it's quite pricey. I've also had their lunch time buffet which is good value for money. Personally I wouldn't bother with their dosa - it's not very good - if you really want a dosa I'd go to Tanjore which is a south indian restaurant just down the road where, although serving meat, they do do an extremely good dosa (well at least 5 out of 6 times that I've been there). I think overall you can get better vegan food elsewhere.
Updated from previous review on Tuesday November 05, 2013

Pros: Lunch buffet is good value for money

Cons: Terrible dosa

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fantastic vegan food! - Edit

Beautiful restaurant, warm and welcoming.

I've been here a few times now and I'm never disappointed.

The staff are lovely. Cheerful and friendly.

The food was beautiful. Lots of depth to the flavours. They even prepared our vegan food gluten free at our request.

No other curry house comes close to this one. My all time favourite.

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Nice atmosphere - Edit

The vegan choice is not huge, but there is a delicious vegan thali, served in beautiful bowls and a tray. Really worth going for, just for this. Lovely decor and atmosphere.

Pros: vegan dish, atmosphere

Cons: little vegan choice

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Good food, lunchtime buffet good value. - Edit

I ate here in January 2011 with my partner, during a city break to Edinburgh. We ate at lunchtime, when the restaurant offers an 'all you can eat' buffet for £7.00 per head. I consider that good value, particularly so as the city in general is hideously expensive.
The food was very tasty and made with fresh veg, it had a home-made style to it. I would have preferred a bit more choice, and my particular favourite style of curry (very hot, rich and saucy, e.g. vindaloo, or balti (extra hot !)) was unfortunately not on offer at the buffet. The staff and the setting were pleasant. I waddled away happy - recommended.

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The best Indian food ANYWHERE! - Edit

I first visited over Kalpna 20 years ago and recently returned after a very long absence. I must say that the food is as good as ever and thoroughly enjoyed the excellent value vegan thali (£13.95). It was just as I remember it and when the food is as good as this you can't criticise a lack of innovation. To summarise, the food is perfectly spiced, fresh and the assortment of dishes was intelligently considered. The Gujurati dishes on offer show most Indian restaurants up as pale imitations of authentic cuisine. The decor is clean and bright but nothing to get excited about. Service was attentive but not overbearing. I have no qualms about recommending Kalpna if you are looking for a top class vegetarian meal in Edinburgh.

Pros: Superb food, Good value, Attentive staff

Cons: Relatively limited vagan choice

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I HEART Kalpna - Edit

Went here on Sunday the 8th, had the vegan thaali, 6 courses for 13.95 a serious bargain. we were both completely stuffed. 2 meals and 2 beers for 35 incl tip. This was the best indian I've had in my life (even when I used to eat meat!) Service was quick. Only let down was 1 of the waiters we had was really nice, but the other a bit cold.

Pros: taste, volume, value

Cons: 1 grumpy staff member

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Kalpna, Edinburgh - Edit

I went here for lunch on the first Saturday in June. It was a self serve buffet set up with various starters and a choice of three curries none of which I am pleased to say were overly chillied. All of the dishes were vegan vego friendly apart from the one of the dips made with yoghurt. The potato pakora starter was delicious as were the curries and the biryani rice offered with them. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole thing and at £7 it seems very good value for hard earned dosh.

The settings are pleasantly done out and the atmo is relaxed. All in all a massive winner for me. I rocked along with a bunch of omnivorous friends for whom it was also clean plates and thumbs up all round.

I look forward to returning.

Pros: Vegan vego friendly, Great food, Great value

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